BandWagon is a new gig booking sitebased in London and currently serving the UK and Northern Ireland. It’s off to a strong start with an initial focus on indie bands, smaller venues and festivals. The service encourages transparency from both promoters and bands with the intention of facilitating and managing bookings for both sides. Begun by two promoters, BandWagon appears to be a solid offering for bands seeking gigs in the UK.
I recently spoke with Stan Mcleod who cofounded BandWagon with Maria Hayden as a bootstrapped venture. Both promoters felt that the booking process at a grassroots level was confused and problematic for promoters and bands. Both were hearing complaints from bands about lack of transparency on the part of promoters and from promoters about unprofessional musicians.
They decided to create BandWagon to address such concerns based on three core values:
Mcleod explained that in the UK venues typically use outside promoters and so venues aren’t currently included on BandWagon. However, festival booking opportunities are being added to the site. In fact, they are now the official submission site for the Fulham Fest taking place in South-West London.
Promoters typically list the venue, location, genre and payment details for shows. Artists are given a vehicle to present themselves professionally including prepopulated message to get them started when applying for gigs.
Bands receive regular updates when gig opportunities match their genre and location and then apply for the gigs that interest them. Promoters can view all applications via one page which provides quite a bit of information and, if more is needed, they can click through to bands’ EPKs and from there check out bands’ social media presence.
BandWagon encourages promoters to communicate with artists as much as possible and an inbuilt messaging system is included to facilitate communication on both sides. After the gig, everyone involved can rate each other on their professionalism.
Since launching in October, BandWagon has already passed 1500 members with around 1300 artists and 200 promoters. They hope to eventually expand to Europe.
The intent of BandWagon’s cofounders is not only to create a solid service for booking gigs but also to support managing bookings and tour schedules. Eventually they also plan to create festival management tools.
Though there are some differences in how things are done in the UK and the US, BandWagon’s approach to facilitating the business of booking gigs, managing dates and tracking reputations is certainly one that US acts could also appreciate.
BandWagon is a member of The Artist Network a “collaboration of websites who provide services to artists, labels and managers.”
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and music industry resources at Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.